Veterans' Employment Services in Michigan: October 2023 Newsletter

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Veterans' Employment Services graphic, Priority of Service for Military Veterans, logos of U.S. military branches

October 2023

Veterans' Employment Services Newsletter


State of Michigan initiative opens up thousands of job opportunities for veterans

Michigan Civil Service Commission logo

In a unique initiative that will open up thousands of job opportunities for military veterans, the State of Michigan is waiving its requirement of a bachelor’s degree for many state jobs if the veteran completed at least two years of active federal service in any branch at the rank of E-6 or above.

Michigan appears to be the first state to waive the education requirements for veterans with two years of experience as an E-6 specifically for state jobs. Other states may consider military occupational specialty (MOS) and job experience while in the service when applying for jobs, or waive licensure and exam fees, but the education waiver appears to be a first.

“Michigan is committed to finding new ways to support our veterans and attract top talent to our state,” says Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Military members gain valuable skills and knowledge through their service that can’t be replicated in a classroom, and that experience should be considered when applying for jobs. I am grateful for the efforts of the MVAA and the MCSC, and I encourage veterans who qualify to take advantage of this opportunity to come work for the State of Michigan.”

Read more about this initiative here.

Take a moment to explore jobs with the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity. These are jobs that support Michigan residents and businesses!

It's National Veterans Small Business Week

Veteran small business week webpage

The tenth annual National Veterans Small Business Week, October 30 through November 3, honors the long-standing contributions of veteran and military-owned businesses to our nation’s economy.  

Nearly one in ten small businesses across the United States is veteran owned. Veteran and military spouse small business owners serve their communities by employing more than 5 million Americans and generating $1.3 trillion in total sales.  

Entrepreneurial transitioning service members can access resources through the Transition Assistance Program. Veterans also have access to no-cost training through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which is designed to help small business owners start, expand or recover their businesses. 

If you are interested in hiring veterans for your veteran-owned small business, reach out to a reach out to VES for assistance.  

MVAA recognizes 62 Veteran Friendly Schools for 2023

Gold, Silver and Bronze Veteran Friendly Schools awards

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency recognized 62 universities, colleges or trade schools as Veteran-Friendly Schools (VFS) for the 2023-2024 school year.

The VFS program, created in 2015-16, recognizes academic institutions committed to supporting the needs of veterans and military-connected students. These institutions are awarded Gold-, Silver-, and Bronze-level status based on their veteran-centric services and programs. Any academic institution or training facility in Michigan eligible to receive veteran education benefits can apply for the program.

In 2023, 47 schools earned Gold-status, with seven schools upgrading from Silver to Gold from the previous year. The Gold-level schools range from public universities such as the University of Michigan and Northern Michigan University to trade schools such as Midwest Truck Driving School and the North Country Heavy Equipment School.

See the full list of VFS.

Get more with Michigan Works!

If you want more Michigan Works! header with woman smiling over her shoulder

Whether you’re a first-time job seeker, switching careers, looking to gain new skills to advance in your career, a veteran or a justice-involved individual, Michigan Works! can help you find what you’re looking for — their job is to find you the best job!

Michigan Works! offers a wide range of free support services to help you get a better job with better pay. 

  • Career development coaches who offer personalized, one-on-one support.
  • Help with career exploration, resume writing and interview practice.
  • Connections to funding for additional education and job training.
  • Computers, printers and high-speed internet available.

They may even be able to help you find childcare and transportation! 

If you're ready for more, go to to get started.

Veterans Helping Veterans banner

Veteran Success: VES provides disabled veteran resources to help her find a job

Sabrina O'Conner with husband

Sabrina, who is a disabled Army National Guard veteran, visited her local Michigan Works! Service Center when she became unemployed earlier this year. With the help of Michigan Works! staff, Sabrina was connected with Veterans' Career Advisor (VCA) Paul Burke when she let staff know she is a veteran.

After determining the best way to serve Sabrina, VCA Paul provided her with information about various resources she could benefit from, including FAFSA, E-Benefits resources, Registered Apprenticeship programs, and Pure Michigan Talent Connect ( for her job search needs.

Together, they also worked to update Sabrina's resume and practice interview skills. Then they worked together to explore local opportunities. Within a few weeks, Sabrina had applied to a position she was interested in at Travel Lodge, interviewed for the opportunity, and was offered the job!

And to ensure her needs were being met, her local Michigan Works! was able to provide her with financial assistance to help her get to work until she received her first paycheck.

Brian Love named as new MVAA Director

MVAA logo against a blue background

Governor Whitmer selected Brian Love to serve as the new director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) beginning October 31.  

Brian Love has a long history of service to the state of Michigan, both within and outside of the military community.  Prior to this appointment, Love worked as director of community engagement for the Education Trust-Midwest. Previously, he served as public affairs and project management director for the Greater Detroit Area Health Council State Outreach from 2016-2018, and as the director at StudentsFirst Michigan from 2013-2016.

“We want Michigan to provide the best care and support for brave men and women who have served in our nation’s military,” said Governor Whitmer. “That’s why we ensure our veterans agency is led by veterans who understand the commitment and sacrifice that Michiganders in uniform made during their service. Brian Love is the right man for the job. His service in the United States Marine Corps and continued public service on behalf of Michiganders in and out of state government is admirable. I know he will do right by Michigan’s veterans.”

Read the full announcement here.

Historic Veterans Called to Serve: Babette (Bette) Bolivar

Bette Bolivar in uniform on the left and on a ship on the right

Rear Adm. Babette (Bette) Bolivar, a retired Navy Veteran, made history during her remarkable 36-year career. She became one of the first Filipino Americans to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy and one of the Navy's pioneering female divers.

Raised in Hawaii with a father who served in the Navy, Bolivar overcame her childhood fear of water, vowing to conquer it by becoming part of the underwater world. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985 with a degree in oceanography and later obtained a masters in management from Troy University. Her diverse career saw her commanding various vessels, including the U.S.S. Salvor, where she was the first woman to lead Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One. She also played a vital role in Afghanistan as the officer-in-charge of the Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare Program.

Bolivar's rise in the ranks continued, culminating in her selection as a rear admiral. She oversaw four regional Navy Commands and served as the U.S. Pacific Command/defense representative to several regions. Her journey paved the way for women in the Navy, as she often occupied roles as one of the first women in various leadership positions.

Her illustrious career earned her numerous accolades, including the Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, among others. Bolivar retired in 2021 after serving with distinction for 36 years, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire. We honor her service and groundbreaking contributions to the Navy.

Learn more about Vernon and other veterans like Bette, visit the Veterans Legacy Program webpage.

Virtual Job Fair Calendar banner

Check out these upcoming job and career events

An up-to-date list of upcoming job and career events is available on's Career Events Calendar.

Ultium Cells Launch Team Job Fair

Nov. 1, 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Event Details:
 view the event flyer

Are you ready to be a part of a groundbreaking team in Lansing? Ultium Cells is excited to invite you to our Launch Team Job Fair for your chance to secure a position in our innovative venture.


Vicinia Gardens Career Fair

Nov. 2, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Event Address: Vicinia Gardens Living - 4031 Vicinia Way, Fenton, MI 48430
Event Details: view the event flyer

Are you passionate about providing exceptional care and creating a warm, family-like atmosphere? Vicinia Gardens is the place to be! Vicinia Gardens, prides themselves on offering a home-like environment that fosters independence and socialization.


First Ward Community Center Job & Resource Fair

Nov. 4, 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.  
Event Address:
First Ward Community Center - 1410 N 12th St., Saginaw, MI 48601
Event Details: view the event flyer

This event will bring together employers, experienced professionals, and entry level talented individuals under one roof!


Dreamer's Healthcare Staffing Job Fair

Nov. 7, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  
Event Address:
West Michigan Works! SE Service Center - 121 Martin Luther King Jr St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Event Details: register for the event

This event is a great opportunity to find employers and join the farming, food production, and food supply chain industry. This event will include employers of choice open to hiring candidates from opportunity populations, including veterans, returning citizens, people with disabilities and refugees.


Michigan Department of Corrections Hiring Event

Nov. 8, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  
Event Address:
Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! Mount Pleasant Service Center - 5889 E Broadway Rd, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
Event Details: view the event flyer

The St. Louis area facilities are currently hiring for officers, healthcare and mental health professionals, food service workers, and other positions. Apply on-site! If interested in the Corrections Officer position, bring a change of clothes for the fitness test


State of Michigan Virtual Job Fair

Nov. 15, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Event Details: register for the event

Learn how you can start your career in public service with the State of Michigan. We have a wide variety of open jobs. You can work with us in the industry you love, have an impact in your community, and enjoy quality of life with our comprehensive benefits package!


Job Fairs Count as Work Search Activity in Michigan
Registering for and attending Virtual Job Fair events supported by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity count as official work search activities required by the Unemployment Insurance Agency. Check out upcoming virtual and in-person job fairs by visiting’s Career Events website.

Event Success Tips

  • Be Prepared: Charge your phone and practice your elevator pitch.
  • Keep an Open Mind: You never know which company has the perfect job for you.
  • Work the Room: Stop by every booth and share your QR code with every organization.
  • Rule of 3: Get at least three company follow-ups.
  • Apply as You Network: Apply to open positions while you network with recruiters.
  • Smile: Be confident. You've got this!

About Veterans’ Employment Services

VES logo

Welcome to the Veterans’ Employment Services (VES) Newsletter. Our mission is to assist you and your family secure meaningful careers in Michigan.

The concept of veterans helping veterans is a trademark of the VES team and one of the keys to its success. Veterans face many challenges when transitioning out of the military – finding meaningful employment should not be one of them.

  • Veterans in need of employment assistance should contact the nearest Michigan Works! One-Stop Service Center by calling 800-285-WORKS (9675) or visiting
  • More information about Veterans’ Employment Services is available at
  • Register today and start your job search at Pure Michigan Talent Connect at

Health and Other Resources


Health Resources

Additional Resources

Health Benefits: 877-222-8387
Other VA Benefits: 800-827-1000

Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255
Homeless Services: 877-424-3838

Health Benefits

Veterans Crisis Line 

Mental Health

Homeless Services


Readjustment Counseling (Vet Centers) 

Disease Prevention

Compensated Work Therapy

Women Veterans Health Care

Substance Abuse Programs

Geriatrics and Extended Care

National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Rural Health 



If you are a veteran looking for information concerning education, health care, benefits or quality of life programs, please visit the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency for more information, or call the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center at 800-MICH-VET. 

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Veterans' Employment Services is part of Workforce Development, within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity's Office of Employment and Training.